New Resources, New Guests, National Dialogue – Global Service-Learning in 2013!

By Eric Hartman

As we settle into spring semesters in the United States, we’re launching a number of new resources and preparing to feature some exciting guest writers. We’re also thrilled to announce a few very compelling upcoming conferences that are part of the national dialogue on the development of best practices in global service-learning.

New Resources: Please take a moment to visit and peruse our Global Service-Learning Research Wiki. As you’ll see there, with some extremely helpful student support from Cornell University and Providence College, we have begun organizing peer-reviewed and open-source GSL research around several themes, including intercultural competency development, global civic engagement, and reflective practice. Thus far, we have added relevant articles from The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, and The Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. We have also included several other specific articles from other journals, books, and related research available in other forms. The research wiki and a related Global Service-Learning Tools and Syllabi Wiki (currently available, but in an earlier stage of development) are both editable by readers. Please contribute relevant research links or tools, using the guidelines provided.

If any students, staff, or faculty are interested in developing a course project around further articulating global civil society opportunities to Make a Difference from home, please contact Eric Hartman at buildingbetterworld(at)gmail(dot)com. While our current Make a Difference page features many excellent opportunities, we would love to further develop this global civic engagement set using our new wiki platform.

New Guests: Contributors this term will include graduate students at the cutting edge of GSL research, practical tips for GSL programs, and 10 entries by students and faculty participating in The Social Change Semester in Qatar and India through Carnegie Mellon University, Amizade, and Visions.

National Dialogue: Efforts to develop best practices in global service-learning continue to move forward. The Forum on Education Abroad accepted a session specific to community impact and global service-learning at its upcoming Standards of Good Practice Institute in Chicago (April 3). The session is:

Community Impact, Transparency, Sound Pedagogy: Advancing Best Practices in Global Service-Learning
Eric Hartman (Providence College), Richard Kiely (Cornell University Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research), Eusau Laguerre (Manna International), Brandon Blache-Cohen (Amizade Global Service-Learning), Katherine Conway-Turner (Hood College), Madeline Yates (Maryland-DC Campus Compact), Brian Hanson (Northwestern University)

Global service-learning takes place within a university-third party partnership environment so rife with perverse incentives that New York’s Attorney General investigated several institutional relationships. Additionally, the global voluntourism industry is growing at an extraordinary rate. This presentation represents growing nongovernmental and community development organizations’ effort to articulate fair trade learning as a way to model best practices and evaluation in university-community global partnership. It will build upon insights of existing community organizations’ successes and concerns, as well as the existing research literature in service-learning, to move forward dialogue about partnership and community impact best practices.

Best practice events and dialogue continue later in the spring as well. Several Prescott College doctoral students have proposed a forum on Fair Trade Learning and Global Service-Learning in Prescott, AZ, in mid-May (decision pending). Finally, Cornell University, New York Campus Compact, and Amizade have come together to announce the 6th Annual Global Service-Learning Institute. The institute will take place May 29 – May 31 in beautiful Ithaca, New York immediately before the annual, exciting, zany, and fun Ithaca Festival. Faculty, staff, and institutional teams that are developing or improving upon global service-learning offerings typically enjoy the interactive and outcomes-oriented approach to the institute. Take a look at the agenda and register online.

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